Jezebel failed to scoop anything juicy on the Girls star's Vogue shoot.
Feminist blog Jezebel do a lot of good with their articles, promoting womens interests and taking a stand against unrealistic representations of women in the media. However, the online magazine's true gossip baiting intention reared its unsightly head when Girls star Lena Dunham graced the cover of Vogue last month.
Lena Dunham Featured On The Cover Of Vogue, And Jezebel Offered A Reward For The "Real" Photos.
Dunham, who writes for and acts on the HBO show, was featured in a cover shoot and article celebrating her game-changing TV success and positive influence upon women today. Lena appeared in the shoot with her Girls co-star Adam Driver in a series of dreamlike and stylised shots.
As part of its discourse railing against the evils of the fashion industry, Jezebel ran a piece claiming that Dunham's photos had been heavily retouched in order to make her fit in with the traditionally high fashion-minded ideals of Vogue magazine. "[Dunham's] body is real. She is real. And for as lovely as the Vogue pictures are, they're probably not terribly real," they said, offering $10,000 to the first person who could come to them with the "real" photos.
The 'Girls' Actress Has Spoken Out Against Jezebel's Actions.
A mere two hours later, Jezebel had their snaps and someone - perhaps an industry mole - was a lot richer than when they'd woken up that morning. Only, the photos turned out to have been hardly photoshopped at all: a neckline raised here, a pigeon placed there (seriously), a leg slightly elevated. In a nutshell, Jezebel had failed badly in their exposé and instead received a barrage of criticism from disappointed readers and outraged Girls fans.
Dunham herself eventually spoke out against what could be justifiably believed to be a personal attack against her and her career. The actress is famous for being less "Hollywood" in her image than some of her showbiz compatriots but this has been typically celebrated in the media as a trail-blazing step. In short, Jezebel's message was clear: Lena Dunham can't possibly fit with the ideals of Vogue yet looks incredible in these photos, ergo she simply must have been at the mercy of the retouch brush. The feminist blog had scored a humiliating own goal.
Watch Lena Dunham's Interview Discussing The Jezebel Incident (52:15):
"That was messed up," stated Dunham in a recent interview with Bill Simmons for Grantland. The actress revealed how she'd lost her respect for the blog after the incident. "I think Jezebel can be really smart and funny [but] once you've been attacked in that way it's hard to enjoy."
"They made such a monumental error in their approach to feminism...It felt gross," Lena added. The exasperated actress openly questioned why Jezebel had continued their line of enquiry: "I was kind of scared to see the un-retouched images of me, [...] they smoothed a line here, and shaved a line on my neck. It was the most minimal retouching. I felt completely respected by Vogue."
The Actress Questioned The Blog's Morals And Stated They Has Lost Her Respect.
"Instead of going like, 'Hey, we kinda f***ed up, these pictures aren't that retouched Lena, enjoy the Vogue spread that you've been excited about since you were eight years old,' they were like, 'She's not retouched, but she could've been.' It was this weird almost political maneuvering that I just had a lot of trouble respecting."
Lena's probably not the only one who is having difficulty finding her respect for Jezebel again. With their failed publicity stunt, the blog unwittingly called the loyalty and respect of thousands of readers who visit their blog every day into question. That's a bigger step backwards for womens issues than Jezebel have ever taken forwards.